16 Sep

Pupil Premium meeting, 16th September 2015

The following are notes from the above meeting.

Present:  Simon Knight (Special Schools’ Voice), Marc Rowland (Deputy Director at the National Education Trust), Stefano Pozzi (Assistant Director at the DfE), Matthew Hopkinson (0-25 SEN at the DfE), Phil Bannister (Pupil Premium Team at the DfE).

Key points:

DfE are happy for schools to have the freedom to spend the money in the way that they see as most appropriate.

There are no technical conditions on the expenditure.  There is however, a responsibility to demonstrate that the money is being used to raise the attainment of these pupils who attract the funding.

The DfE acknowledged that evidencing this is complex and can be challenging.  It was also discussed that OFSTED can at times inspect the use of the Pupil Premium conservatively and that this can have an impact on the schools’ perceptions of how the money is to be used.

Pupil premium must not be used to substitute reductions in funding elsewhere, but can be used imaginatively to meet the needs of the pupils who attract the funding.  The emphasis is less on what is done, but rather on why you do it and the extent to which it is having an impact on the attainment of those who attract the funding.  It is appropriate to focus on other indicators of progress and to use data which is valuable to the individual school and the children who attained it.

Agreed outcomes:

To work in partnership with NET to

Generate case study materials relating to the Pupil Premium plus and the particular issues facing residential special schools resulting from administration of the funding of LAs.

Generate case study materials relating to the effective use of Pupil Premium by smaller special schools, with a particular focus on the outcomes rather than interventions.  Also to consider examples of monitoring and tracking and impact evaluation.

NfER to include eight special schools (Applicants for Pupil Premium Awards) in their broader evaluation of the Pupil Premium.